Nothing Cooking: The Gina and Pat Neely Divorce

Inquisitr has reported, "Gina Neely, of the successful Food Network show Down Home with the Neelys, has filed for divorce from her TV partner and husband, Pat Neely". The couple was married for 20 years and are the parents of two adult daughters. It appears as though the split is mutual and the relationship between the parties is amicable.

If the former couple chooses to become divorced but not pursue any claims with respect to the division of property, the question may become how long will such claims survive. In Ontario, the claim with respect to the division of property is often referred to as an equalization payment. Further, the question of how long a claim may survive can be answered by considering what is legally referred to as the limitation period of the claim.

In Ontario, section 7(3) of the Family Law Act establishes the limitation periods that apply to equalization claims. This section provides that a party that may have a claim to the equalization of Net Family Property under the Family Law Act will be barred by the passage of time if the claim is not brought within whichever of the following three events occurs first: (a) six years of the parties' separation, (b) two years after a divorce has been ordered, or (c) six months after the first spouse's death. Although the Courts have discretion to consider a claim that is brought outside of the above mentioned limitation period, the general rule is that a claim may not be considered if it is brought after this window of time has closed.

It has been reported that Gina and Pat Neely separated in September 2014. As such, either party has until the earlier of:

  • two years after a divorce has been ordered (a divorce order has not yet been made);
  • September 2020 (six years after the parties' separation); or
  • six months after the first spouse's death,

to bring an equalization claim if they were to reside and bring such a claim within Ontario.